Benefits of Swimming:
Swimming is an amazing way to exercise. Not only does it workout every muscle in the body, but it allows you to mentally focus without any outside distractions. Swimming is a low impact sport, which will help any person of any age continue to exercise without any potential risk for injury. Being able to swim in water gives you the freedom to go swimming for fun, swimming in the ocean or lake. The opportunity to swim in any body of water gives you the freedom to enjoy it without any fear.
Some of the more specific benefits physiologically are:
-Increased Lung Capacity
-Efficient Breathing during Land Activities
-Burns more calories than any other land activity
-Increased production of Hemoglobin Concentration
-And many more
Matt's "Overcoming Fear of Water" Technique:
1st Step: Provide a comfortable environment for the Child/Adult
2nd Step: Always have one hand on the Child/Adult either on the Back or Stomach during the practice. This will allow the Child/Adult to feel comfortable at all times.
3rd Step: Start out by learning to float on the back. During this whole practice my hand will be on the lower back to help instill that floating on the back is the safe way of breathing and feeling comfortable. Even if water gets in their mouth it is ok, staying calm and floating on the back will allow them to spit the water out and breathe in air
4th Step: Once they feel comfortable floating on the back and not resisting, the next goal is to flip over on their stomach. Flipping on their stomach will help them understand that it is ok to place your face in the water without any fear of drowning. During the face down part, my hand is on their stomach to help them float and provide a "Safety Blanket" to help them during this scary phase. Once they need to breathe, they roll over on their back and start Step 3 again. During this Step it is important for me to talk "Breathe, Spit Water Out, Stay Calm and Keep Breathing" while they are on their back.
5th Step: Once they are comfortable during the back float and face down phase, we work on holding their breathe longer during the face down. While they are face down I count out loud "One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, etc" to keep their mind focused on the numbers and away from the fear of holding their breathe under water. During the face down I also make sure to stay near them and place one hand one foot under their eyes to show them that I am there to help if anything goes wrong. As soon as they flip over I keep talking to them to provide a level of comfort to distract them from the fear.
6th Step: Once they have mastered holding their breathe for 5-10 Mississippis, my next goal is to start incorporating the arms. When they are on their stomach they swim using their arms "Big Windmill Arms". As soon as they run out of air, roll over on the back and repeat Step 3.
7th Step: Swimming without me touching them. This will reinforce the confidence and reasurance that they are in control and they have the tools to help them when they need it most.
8th Step: More specific goals will arise from here. Either learn more strokes for competitive swimming, pool parties, ocean swimming and lake swimming. From here the Child/Adult is prepared to do what they want to do instead of being a prisoner of their own fears.